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October 23, 2003
Day 8

Hello, Illinois
Photo OM/WCEP

Another travel day! Except for a thick frost, this morning's flight conditions were ideal (sunny, hazy, cool). But...after the frost was dealt with, Brooke's trike had mechanical trouble. It was soon repaired, but just as Mark and Charlie were about the let the cranes out of the enclosure for take off, Richard's engine sputtered and died. The grounded pilots made the same adjustment that had just been done on Brooke's engine. Finally at 8:42 a.m., fifteen flapping young cranes lifted off with Richard's remedied ultralight leading the way. Heather Ray said, "It was one of the best orchestrated take-offs yet. . .This flock definitely has it together!"

Thanks to the north wind, the crew had hoped to skip a stop this morning. But the delayed departure meant the air aloft had warmed up, so they flew 1 hour and 42 minutes to the scheduled stop in Ogle County, Illinois. Fourteen cranes flew the distance, but a very tired #317 dropped out approximately 8 miles from the destination. ICF's Sara Zimorski retrieved and crated him, and he was transported to the stopover site. Today's flight knocked another 47.1 miles off their journey south.

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Try This! Journaling Questions

  • craneHY03_195
    From which direction is the wind blowing? Photo Heather Ray, OM/WCEP
    The cranes have now flown four legs of the migration, with distances of 23.2 miles, 22.6 mi., 46.1 mi., and today's 47.1. How far have they flown on the 1200-mile journey south? What percentage of the distance is complete?
  • Based on the clues from this photo, from which direction was the wind blowing? (Hint: Heather was facing the sunset. The sun sets in the _______. Which direction is the windsock pointing? That means the wind was out of the _________.)
  • Green County, Wisconsin, where the birds and team spent just one night this year, was the scene of one of the lowlights of the first ultralight-led Eastern Flock crane migration in 2001. It was here, in this same week, that a windstorm tore apart the portable pen. The birds all escaped and the flock's best flyer was killed when she flew into a powerline in the darkness. Read our report from October 26, 2001, which was day 10 of the first year's migration. After reading it, write thoughts in your journal about this: This is an experiment and there will always be some risks. If you were on the crew, what would be some of your biggest worries? Why? What do you do in your own life that involves risks, and how do you feel about those risks?

Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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